This fall LITS welcomes five fabulous 2018-2019 Emory Libraries/Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) Fellows. We hope this blog series of interviews will help you get to know them better. Funded by the Laney Graduate School, Emory Libraries and Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) award fellowships to advanced graduate students expecting to complete their dissertations by the end of the academic year. Fellows are placed in a department related to their subject specialization or interest, culminating in a formal presentation in the spring. Mark your calendar for April 10th from 2pm to 3:30pm in the Jones Room.
Welcome, Andrew Zonderman, who is working with the Humanities subject librarians in the Research, Engagement, and Scholarly Communications division of the library.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What’s your favorite book?
I am a North Carolinian, having grown up in a suburb of Raleigh, received a B.A. in history from Duke University, and worked for a research center at North Carolina State University prior to attending Emory to study history. Since starting graduate school, I’ve tended to read more short stories than novels, and have enjoyed reading and reading anew some of John Cheever, Anton Chekov, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works. Being a sports fan, it has been nice to be in a sports-loving region full of professional and collegiate teams. My fiancée and I really enjoy going to see the Atlanta Gladiators minor league hockey team when we can.
- What are you researching for your dissertation?
My research broadly focuses on the intersections of migration and Western imperialism. Specifically, I examine the influence of German migrants on the eighteenth-century British Empire’s formation. British imperial institutions and actors, from the British East India Company to colonial governors sought to deploy Germans around the world to address issues of defense, demographic instability, and labor shortages. The Germans arrived in the British colonies with their own agendas, and I examine how both sides negotiated the migrants’ roles within their newfound colonial contexts. Analyzing these migrations and negotiations reframes the British Empire as a transnational endeavor rather than a British-run project, which has been an enduring idea both for Britons over the centuries as well as many current scholars. The project also highlights the interconnectedness of German-speaking Europe and Germans to the rest of the eighteenth-century world, despite the lack of sustained colonial projects or global trading ventures by German polities at that time.
- What interested you about this Fellowship?
One of my favorite things about being a historian is having the opportunity to explore libraries and archives around the world. As a subject librarian fellow, I have opportunities to share my research experiences to help others as they pursue their own inquiries. After years of using research libraries, it has been great to see the “back of the store” and to participate in some of the work that goes into developing, maintaining, and publicizing research resources. Every week I am discovering new tools that I wish I had known about years ago, and that I will use in the future as a teacher and researcher.
- What will you be working on this year for your Fellowship?
I will be working on several projects and tasks throughout this academic year as a fellow. I am leading in-class research training sessions with undergraduates, guiding them through relevant resources offered by Woodruff Library, search strategies for digital collections, and how to find and use materials housed in archives. In addition to these in-class activities, I am holding individual research consultations with students. This fall I am part of a humanities subject librarian team creating an exhibit examining the environmental humanities. Another year-long project will be the creation and updating of research guides in early modern, European, and colonial American history.